IFAC Addresses Concept of Public Interest

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the global organisation for the accountancy profession, has released for public exposure "A Public Interest Framework for the Accountancy Profession."


In order to consider and address issues in the accountancy profession on a consistent and clearly articulated basis, IFAC has developed a principles-based framework of the public interest, which can be applied to standard-setting, governance processes, policy analysis, and regulatory issues. Although mainly designed for use by IFAC itself, it may also be useful to the accountancy profession as well as to policymakers, regulators, and business leaders.IFAC considers that the accountancy profession, in serving the public interest, should be evaluated against three criteria: 1) consideration of costs and benefits for society as a whole; 2) adherence to democratic principles and processes; and 3) respect for cultural and ethical diversity. These criteria enable IFAC to assess the extent to which any policy, action, process, or condition is in the public interest.


"For IFAC to play its part in the financial system, we must be sure that our actions are consistent with the public interest. The primary purposes of this paper are to explain how we understand the public interest, and to be transparent about how we will use that understanding to shape our decisions and actions,” says IFAC Chief Executive Officer Ian Ball. “By exposing this paper for public comment, we seek both to receive input that can help us finalise our position and to stimulate other organisations to articulate how they interpret this fundamental concept.”


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